Seaside, CA – Police Encounter #1
The tour is kicking off with a bang… the first show was in Seaside tonight… just outside Monterey…
I had arranged to stay with a dear friend after the concert… one of my oldest friends ever… it was past midnight and he said he had to go to bed early… told me his son, Billy, would let me in when I arrived.
They live in a gated TOWN, it seems. Once you get through the giant, pass-coded gate, there are still a few miles of driving… through green hills and winding, super-wide roads before you get to the house. There is so much open space that it feels like driving through one of those new, home development communities, where they only have model homes to show you how your own house will look someday, as soon as they build it…
After gliding up and through all the hilly hills and the great expanse of pregnant dreams, I finally reached their string of houses. It was dead silent in the middle of nature, in the middle of the night. I unloaded all my bags and gear and things with several trips up to the porch, thinking it would be easier and more polite to be able to walk in with everything at once.
I knocked a few light, happy taps. Nothing. Peeked in through their 15-foot high, double-door window panes, and could see a flickering tv light in the living room. “Wonderful!” I thought. “Billy has fallen asleep in front of the tv!”
More knocking. Waiting. No response. I then walked out in front of the house and saw Billy’s bedroom, above the garage. Another tv flickering. “Wonderful! Billy forgot about me, and is watching tv in his bedroom!”
I picked up several wood chips from the flowerbed, and hurled them gently to tap his window. Nothing. No response.
Back to the front door for more knocking. Still nothing. It had now been 20 minutes, and I HAD to somehow wake Billy without waking the entire family…
I went around the side of the house, reached over the tall gate to unlatch the padlock, and snuck, ninja-like, back to the kitchen window where I could see the blaring, theater-size tv. “Tap, tap, tap.” Several more rounds of tapping. No response.
FINALLY, I could see Billy’s rustling shadow as he made his way to the sliding glass door where I stood on the backyard patio. The curtains shimmied a bit as he struggled to get the door unlocked and open. No outside lights came on as I waited in the pitch dark.
Then, in slow motion, a figure appeared. It was not Billy. I thought it might be a visiting uncle or friend of the family… he was taller and bigger than Billy (and me).
Strange Uncle: “Who are you?” this sleepy-eyed figure groggily asked.
Me: “Who are YOU?” I returned with a smile. “Where’s Billy?”
Strange Uncle: “Billy? Who’s Billy?”
I said, “Isn’t this the Varney’s house?”
Strange Uncle: “VARNEY… Who’s Varney??”
I now realized I was in the backyard, in the pitch dark, in the middle of the night… of someone else’s house… in someone else’s gated community…
He said he was a police officer, flashed his badge, and wanted to see my I.D.
(fair enough, I thought).
I explained how I must have mixed up their houses (they all truly looked exactly the same), how all my bags were on his front porch, and that my I.D. was in my car, now parked in his driveway… he almost believed me, and walked me back around to the front of the house. I packed up my car (Officer Dan did not offer to help), and drove up the street.
Officer Dan was already there waiting… (it felt like I had pulled up to a murder crime scene in one of those television crime shows where everything is roped off with yellow tape and only the official homicide detectives are allowed through)… along with a wide-awake, happy-faced Billy… he had obviously already interrogated Billy and verified my colorful alibi.
I shook Officer Dan’s hand, laughed a little at what a crazy and hilarious hijinx adventure we had just been through together… Officer Dan did not laugh… but kindly bid me a good night with his curt, policeman no-nonsense demeanor, and I apologized for spooking him out of his sleep in front of his tv.
What a perfect first night of the tour…